Controversy over Arvind Kejriwal’s claims that Muslim votes shifted to Congress in 12 May polls

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has sensationally claimed that Muslims in Delhi have voted en masse for the Congress forcing him to reassess his poll predictions. He said that earlier his party hoped to win all seven seats, but he later learnt that on the eve of the elections, Muslim votes had gone to the Congress in its entirety.

Arvind Kejriwal

“Let us see what happens. Actually, 48 hours prior to the voting, we appeared to win all seven seats. But the complete Muslim vote got shifted to the Congress in the last moment. Last night, the night before elections. We are trying to figure out as to what happened. They are 12-13 per cent,” Kejriwal was quoted by Indian Express.

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit ‘said that she did not understand the intention behind Kejriwal’s statement. “I don’t know what is he trying to say. Everyone has a right to vote whichever party he/she wants to vote. People of Delhi did not understand nor liked his governance model,” Dikshit was quoted by news agency ANI.

In 2015, Muslims in Delhi were believed to have voted for Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party in large numbers, contributing to the AAP’s landslide win in the assembly polls.

Meanwhile the Delhi chief minister’s comments have evoked strong reactions on social media. Journalist Aditya Menon wrote, “Why does Arvind Kejriwal lament that Muslim voters shifted to Congress? Acknowledge the one thing that caused AAP most damage: many Hindus who voted for him in 2015 shifted to BJP this time. Why is it Muslims’ responsibility to keep ‘secular’ parties alive?”

User Vinod Singh wrote on Twitter, “Basically Kejriwal is accepting that his party will be at 3rd no Muslim votes shifted to Congress in Delhi at last moment.”

Delhi has seven parliamentary seats that went to polls on 12 May. The counting is scheduled for 23 May.

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